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32 in the deepest dell of the forest. Fairyfoot sat down to wash, but at that minute he heard a sound of music and knew it was the fairies going to their dancing ground. “If my feet grow large,” said the boy to himself, “how shall I dance with them?” So, rising quickly, he took the Princess Maybloom by the hand. The fawn followed them; the maids and the chamberlain followed it, and all followed the music through the forest. At last they came to the flowery green. Robin Goodfellow welcomed the company for Fairyfoot’s sake, and gave everyone a drink of the fairies' wine. So they danced there from sunset till the gray morning, and nobody was tired; but before the lark sang, Robin Goodfellow took them all safe home, as he used to take Fairyfoot. There was great Joy that day in the palace because Princess Maybloom's feet were made small again. The king gave Fairyfoot all manner of fine clothes and rich jewels; and when they heard his wonderful story, he and the queen asked him to live with them and be their son. In process of time Fairyfoot and Princess Maybloom were married, and still live happily. When they go to visit at Stumpinghame, they always wash their feet in the Growing Well, lest the royal family might think them a disgrace, but when they come back, they make haste to the Fair Fountain; and the fairies and the nightingales are great friends to them, as well as the maids and the chamberlain, because they have told nobody about it, and there is peace and quiet yet in the grove of rose-trees. Fairy bushes and fairy forts [Back to Contents] O/S Memoirs, Parishes of County Londonderry XI, vol. 31, Parishes of Ballynascreen, Desertmartin and Kilcronaghan, J McCloskey, 1821. (p. 124) ‘The popular creed, both of natives and settlers equally, admits the existence of fairies. In Irish they are called shigeoh and similarly in the vernacular tongue, by way of propitiation, the gentry or gentle people. They are supposed to reside in the old thorns of the Danish forts, which thorns are often seen to blaze with their unreal fires. They are the same diminutive, playful, capricious malevolent beings that we find depicted in ancient northern poetry. They have the same propensity to the abstraction of unchristened children and of women at the period of accouchement. The lot of such changelings is a sever one: to bolt the suspected imp in a riddle over a strong fire; if a fairy, it will ascend in the smoke.’

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